The sport of mixed martial arts and the reigning king of Mixed Martial Arts entertainment, the UFC, can trace its roots in America directly back to the martial art known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. To give a brief overview of Jiu Jitsu’s relevance in MMA and the current manifestation of Jiu Jitsu in MMA, we will have to start at the beginning.
The story of Jiu Jitsu in MMA begins with Mitsuyo Maeda, a martial arts prodigy from Japan who used a combination of Judo and classical Ju Jitsu to win countless Judo and No Holds Barred matches. Mitsuyo finally settled in Brazil where he began to teach his martial arts skills to what has become the first family of BJJ, the Gracies. Carlos Gracie soon opened his own academy and issued the famous Gracie challenge, inviting all fighters to try to beat the Gracies in no holds barred matches. The Gracies were victorious in these matches and even developed new techniques with the emphasis on the need for the moves to work “in real fighting.”
The Gracies eventually made their way to the United States and were instrumental in creating the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Royce Gracie showed in the early days of the UFC that a smaller man could beat a much bigger and stronger one with the techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, making Jiu Jitsu in MMA a force to be reckoned with. This art was focused mostly on the ground and used leverage and skill to make opponents “tap out.” Royce Gracie made terms like Arm Bar and Rear Naked Choke household names. These submissions were techniques using your body to manipulate someone’s joints into a painful position or cut off oxygen or blood flow until the opponent yielded the match.
Although it has had its rough patches, the sport of MMA eventually exploded in America. The UFC is very prominent and the sport of BJJ is growing in popularity as well. There are some very high level BJJ fighters doing very well in MMA like Demian Maia and Ronaldo Jacare Souza, but the fact remains that every single person competing in MMA has had some sort of training or experience in BJJ because without it they would not last.
At Elite Training Center we offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA training with the emphasis on the sport application of these techniques in training and for real world solutions in self defense scenarios. Most people have never experienced what it’s like to fight on the ground and be able to use your arms and legs correctly to sweep your opponent or use a fight-ending submission. The ability to fight from your back (the guard and its many variations) is essential for any combatant in a cage or ring and worst case scenario street fighting or self-defense situations. Jiu Jitsu teaches you how to move fluidly, conserve energy, and defend yourself or even attack from what may look like a bad position on the ground to the uninformed.
The landscape of today’s mixed martial arts competitions encompasses a broad spectrum of fighting styles, from Western Boxing and Muay Thai when standing and striking, to a blend of wrestling styles to get the fight to the ground. But Jiu Jitsu in MMA is still the go-to method of defense and attack once the fight hits the floor. Although it may seem intimidating to roll around on the ground while fighting, at Elite Training Center it is done in a controlled and friendly environment under the supervision of talented and helpful instructors. It is an amazing workout as well, involving muscles you may not be used to using, and it helps greatly with breath control and cardiovascular endurance.
If you decide to journey into the world of mixed martial arts at Elite you will receive high level technical instruction in striking and wrestling and there will always be emphasis on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it is one of the cornerstones of MMA. I encourage anyone to try out an MMA class regardless of age or what shape you are in. The classes are meant for teaching proper technique and the skills and lessons learned will be useful in and out of the cage.
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Jiu Jitsu in MMA
Jiu Jitsu in MMA – Home Of The BJJ Revolution Team Facebook